11.06.2007 - 06.07.2007 17 °C
It´s been a month since our last entry and soo much has happened. We´ve been predominently in and around Peru, racing down daunting sand dunes, trekking in amongst snow capped mountains, visiting awesome sites like Macchu Picchu and Ballestas islands (poor mans Gallapagos islands) and Lake Titicaca.
Where do we start???
How would we have known Peru had so much diversity - when we thought of Peru we obviously thought Macchu Picchu, Nazca lines and lake titicaca on the way to Bolivia - which we saw along with so much more.
We started in Lima, which was pretty uninspiring due to a constant grey mist which hangs over the city for 8 months of the year. This gives London a run for its money! needless to say we high tailed it outta there and booked onto a tour going South to see the famous Nazca lines.
We ended up having such a wicked time - not only did we fly over the famous nazca lines, which still have Dee and I second guessing why they were made and for what reason (we obviously have plenty of theories but we´ll save it for when we bring out our bestselling book - Mysteries of South America sorted by D&D!), but we also managed to go on a dessert safari, sand board down some bloody impressive dunes, visit the Ballestas islands (poor mans gallapogas) to see sea lions, penguins, beautiful rock formations and caves, birds and plenty of bird shit!
With the wind in our sails we headed off to the legendary little backpacker town of Cusco to try get to see the famous Inca city of macchu picchu. Blind luck struck us again as we arrived during 1 of the biggest festivals of the year (Inti Raymi - festival of the sun), so things were happening and the town was a buzz. We managed to book into some sweet accommodation at a convent! This meant lovely clean rooms, tranquil atmosphere and best of all hot water - although I do confess 1 of the old nuns took a fancy to me and made me sit down next to her on the bench and hold her hand while she muttered sweet nothings in my ear.
Alright, moving on - we managed to book onto an alternative inca trail called Salkantay trail as the main renowned inca trail was fully booked (thanks Clive and Jayne!). While we were waiting for our start date we found the worlds highest irish pub and the rest was a bit of a blur!
The Salkantay trail was awesome - 4 days/80km of hectic hiking through ravines and valleys, past glacial mountains and through rainforests, ending up on the last night at the little backpacker town of Aguas Calientes at the foot of Macchu Picchu mountain. This allowed us to wake up before the crack of dawn to hike up the steepest path in the world to the Macchu Picchu ruins 500m above. Once our eyes had stopped watering, we could reel our calves again and breathing had resumed to normality we realised that we were infact shrouded in a thick cloud so couldn´t see the legendary sunrise over macchu picchu. Still not thinking clearly from over exertion we decided to take the opportunity to climb the nearby mountain overlooking Macchu Picchu called Winay Waynah. This path made the first 1 seem like childs play! The good news is somewhere in our unconscious state while crawling up the mountain it started clearing and the most beautiful birds eyeview of Macchu Picchu was revealed below us. We got our picture postcard of Macchu Picchu and rolled back into Aguas Calientes.
After Macchu Picchu we headed to lake titicaca where we visited these communities that live on these floating islands made out of reeds. Bad neighbourly relations make for some pretty interesting times as if you have a disagreement you just unhook your island from the anchor point and float downwind to some other spot. Better still, we were told, if you dislike your fellow islanders you can always just cut the island in half and quite litterally go your separate ways! (Ok - maybe we were being spun a story there but a good one nonetheless!)
We stayed with a local family for a night on another 1 of lake titcaca´s natural islands (Amantineen) which was quite a humbling experience and a highlight of our trip.
Took some great photos with our not so great disposable camera and headed onward with our dodgy stomachs into Bolivia...
not the best place in the world to arrive with an already dodgy stomach!!!